Mr. Belarcadere

There is a piece of software called Belarc Advisor that can spec out your PC super-quick and seems incredibly helpful. Unlike Magic Jelly Bean Keyfinder, which is a good tool to have as well, Belarc Advisor not only gets the keys for various pieces of Windows Software, but also checks out the status of your (Windows-only) machine’s security hotfixens and displays your system specfications.

It does this all in a web browser and then gives you links to where each piece of software it finds is installed.

About the only downsides I can find are that this isn’t free software and it doesn’t display licenses for game software.

I suppose neither is surprising coming from a business-oriented services company, but oh well.

Some days you want to sneak one in on your NBC exec.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching random series shows from the 90s and 80s. Somewhat recently this has meant watching a spin-off sitcom from the people that brought you Cheers called Frasier.

It takes the character of Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) who was merely a fixture in the bar and builds a goofy little life around him. Unfortunately it also removed some of his willingness to be social with the working class and maybe made the show a little too clean for TV, oh well. It ran for 11 seasons and produced two-hundred and sixty-four episodes.

I find it amusing mainly since I can turn it on and do something else while it remains in the background, unlike Lost which really requires your attention to get the full experience.

Anyway, that was an excessively long introduction to get to the point of telling that there’s a post up on Ken Levine’s blog where he describes an interesting turn of events for the show’s production. The producers and the writers of the show worked together to hide a rather significant detail from the network until it aired. I’d tell you what that is, but that would spoil the joy of reading the article and finding out some behind-the-scenes details of a television sitcom.


Economy Takes the Controls From Some Video-Game Pros –

The nytimes has an article about pro-gamers going retail and finding real jobs due to sponsors dropping them in this economic downturn. Above is depicted Emmanuel Rodriguez who had to go back to working at Sam’s Club after his sponsors dropped him and more than 100 other players who were getting a salary plus tournament bonuses for playing in a league.

To the spoils of economic stickyness, go, more spoils:

But the recession has left only one significant competitive circuit in North America, Major League Gaming.

“We have driven everybody else out of the business,” Matthew Bromberg, the league’s president and chief executive, said in a recent interview at his office in Manhattan. “The history of league sports begins with one league.”

Best of luck in that, I honestly don’t think the MLG will ever reach a wide enough audience to sustain itself. Though I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing of some success. I feel that Bromberg’s tone when he said “We have driven everybody else out of business” speaks volumes about his attitude.


Goozex on the iPhone

iGoozexAs awesome as Goozex is, the new iPhone application leaves a lot to be desired. Namely, their implementation of the token system Goozex uses to identify you as a proper user for API access is incredibly poor.

Once you launch the application you’re presented with the screen depicted to the right, which is OK if a bit plain. However, before accessing your queue, you are required to enter in that 40+ character API token, a screenshot of that dialog is after the break. Obviously it is a frustrating process, I entered it once, and had to check my work three times before I had the proper token.

If this were done properly, what would happen is you would e-mail yourself a token and the URL in the e-mail could launch the application on the phone and insert the token.

Instead, it must be entered manually. Fortunately, after the iPhone 3.0 Operating System is out you will be able to copy and paste. Though, Goozex could probably enable another method of API access before then, or the developers of this application could see the URL handler light and fix their application.

Either way, once you have the token in there it is nice to be able to see your queue and your position in it. Both the developers of the app, and Goozex proper are aware of the problem. Goozex had this to say on their twitter feed:

Regarding the Goozex Token Code for the iGoozex app. We know it hurts. It was designed years ago w/out foresight of an iPhone application.

I’m hoping that eventually the API will be a little bit more featureful so you can perform more of the actions that you can on the full site. The presentation leaves a lot of room for improvement as well. It seems like it would make a lot more sense to have an app with the standard black bar at the bottom interface and load your requests by default, then have two other “tabs” at the bottom for offers and a gear icon for settings.

Certainly worth the price of admission, iGoozex is free on the app store. If you’d like a more general introduction to Goozex, check out my review.

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